Whether your like it or not, John Cena is on pace to break Ric Flair's record for most world titles before he retires. This is definitely going to cause issues among the legions of wrestling fans.
Some will see it as a good thing that someone new has taken up the mantle of the most successful world champion in wrestling history, while others will simply believe the wrong person has been chosen to succeed Flair.
Considering the fact that Flair has wrestled for a number of different promotions, the exact number of world titles he has held is up for debate, but 16 is the most accepted number among fans.
The big difference between Cena and Flair, other than the length of their careers, is that Cena has amassed all his reigns under the WWE banner, while Flair won titles working for WWE, WCW and NWA.
When you look at this issue from every angle, it becomes clear that Cena deserves to break Flair's record. Let's examine some reasons why Cena is worthy of this accolade.
John Cena is one of the hardest working Superstars both inside and outside the ring. This is a guy who lives and breathes WWE, which is something you can't say about everyone on the roster.
Sure, everyone who wrestles for WWE works hard because it's hard work, but Cena is of a different breed. He goes the extra mile to make sure everyone knows why he is the company's top dog.
Not only does he wrestle at just about every pay-per-view and Raw taping, but he often wrestles twice due to most shows having dark match main events.
He is on the road all the time, working house shows right alongside everyone else. He could have taken a reduced schedule a long time ago due to the leverage he has built up, but he hasn't done that and probably never will.
He might not be The Rock, but there is no denying that Cena could have left for Hollywood a long time ago and made a good living starring in action movies and television shows. He will occasionally make a film, but he always comes back to the ring.
It's not just his wrestling, but it's also the other work he puts in for the company. Media appearances, charity work and corporate announcements make his schedule that much more hectic, and he does it all with a smile.
You might not like him as a fan, but you have to respect the way he conducts himself and how much effort he puts into being the best he can be.
Put aside the "Cena sucks" chants and how cool it is to boo him for a second and really think about how good Cena is.
He has stolen the show countless times against many different opponents. After a while, it becomes obvious that it's not his opponents that make those matches special on their own.
Cena is definitely the kind of guy who sticks to his signature arsenal, but what big star doesn't? The Rock, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and even Ric Flair are all guilty of using the same moves over and over.
The thing that makes him just as special as those other legends is that he knows when to use what's familiar and when to take a risk.
He doesn't have to add new things to his offense, but then you see him pull out a hurricanrana. It might not be the smoothest hurricanrana you have ever seen, but it's impressive that someone of his stature can even pull it off to begin with.
Most powerhouses stick to power moves, which is understandable, but Cena is constantly evolving and tweaking his strategy to match the opponent he is in the ring with.
When he faces Daniel Bryan, he uses more technical maneuvers. When he faces Randy Orton, he focuses on the flashy stuff. When he goes up against someone like Big Show, he goes for the power moves.
Go watch one of Cena's matches from 2005 and one from this year and you will see someone who has changed quite a bit more than you think.
He is not only one of the most consistent talents, but he is someone who continues to improve with each passing year.
He Elicits a Response From Everyone
If you are old enough to remember, Cena was blowing the roof off every arena he entered back in 2006. It was absolutely deafening when he came out. Then it became cool to boo him because his character got a little stale.
You know who else got stale over the years? Ric Flair. Once he reached a certain level of success, every one of his matches and promos looked and sounded the same. His character was as repetitive as they come, but it was a different time when he was the top star in wrestling.
People have shorter attention spans these days, so they don't want to see someone do the same thing for several years in a row.
The thing about Cena that makes him special is that whether you love him or hate him, he gets a reaction out of everyone in the arena.
There are plenty of wrestlers who get little to no response from the crowd. Even getting booed is better than complete silence.
Everyone is welcome to have their own opinion—and Cena embraces his haters just as much as his supporters because he knows that getting you to react to him is the important thing, not how you react.
Flair was never going to hold the record for most world title reigns forever, and unless Cena suffers a career-ending injury within the next year, he will likely be the person to break it.
This is a different kind of accolade than being in the Hall of Fame or winning the Royal Rumble. There can only be one person at a time to hold this distinction, and Cena deserves to be the one to hold it.
He works his butt off every day to be the best, puts on great matches year after year and gets some of the loudest responses from the fans, both positive and negative.
Before the Cena haters rip this article to shreds, try to remember these three simple facts:
- John Cena is not the only person who deserves to break the record, but he is the closest one to doing it.
- Ric Flair supports Cena breaking his record according to a Q&A from The Arnold Classic.
- WWE is filled with hard workers, but nobody works harder than John Cena.
It might take a year. It might take two, but it's inevitable that Cena will break Flair's record for most world title reigns, and he deserves to do it.
What do you think? Should anyone be allowed to break Flair's record of 16 world titles? If not John Cena, who do you think does deserve to do it?
Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.